Former NHLer officially applies for new NHL expansion team in Atlanta
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Former NHLer officially applies for new NHL expansion team in Atlanta

Third time's the charm for ATL?



This past offseason there was a report from a group calling themselves "NHL to Atlanta", stating that former NHL forward turned TNT broadcaster Anson Carter is actively trying to find investors to bring an NHL team back to the city of Atlanta, Georgia.

From NHL to Atlanta:

(Old) Breaking News: NHL on TNT broadcast member Anson Carter is reportedly searching for investors for a NHL team in Atlanta. Carter has 674 games of NHL experience and has spent nearly a decade in broadcasting. Further details about this are currently unknown.

- NHL to Atlanta

Just weeks later it was announced that Carter was indeed getting involved with the pro hockey scene in Atlanta, but not at the NHL level. 

Carter was announced as part owner of the ECHL's Atlanta Gladiators, affiliate of the Arizona Coyotes.

"I am excited to be a part of professional hockey here in my adopted hometown," Carter said in a prepared statement at the time. "I'll be actively involved to ensure that Gladiators hockey is widely accepted not only here in Atlanta, but becomes a brand known internationally in the hockey world."

Now, less than a year after in the Atlanta pro hockey market, Carter is officially making a formal push for another NHL franchise in Atlanta. Sportsnet NHL insider Elliotte Friedman reports that Carter's Alpharetta Sports & Entertainment Group has made an application to the NHL for an expansion team.

From Friedman:

Kudos to Carter and his enthusiasm for pro hockey in Atlanta, but can we please, please, PLEASE ensure that this city never gets an NHL franchise again? There ain't no shame in being an ECHL city.

I mean... this is a city that has twice had a NHL team and lost it. The Atlanta Flames, now the Calgary Flames of course, existed just eight years from 1972 until 1980 when they up and moved to Calgary. The Flames have been an absolute success since arriving in Calgary and, frankly, a lot of younger fans don't even know that the team had its beginnings in Atlanta. And why would they? The Atlanta Flames' history is pretty uneventful. The team never won a single playoff series in Atlanta and won only two playoff games total in six playoff appearances. Former longtime NHL GM Cliff Fletcher is the only member of the team to make it to the Hockey Hall of Fame. In short, the Atlanta Flames were mostly forgettable and the Flames history that most people know begins when the team arrived north of the border in 1980.

And then, of course, there's the ill-fated Atlanta Thrashers. Where do we begin?

The lowly Thrashers, now the Winnipeg Jets 2.0, existed from 1999 until 2011 when they were eventually moved north of the border just as the Flames were. The Thrashers' playoff history is even worse than the Flames', they managed just to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs just once and failed to win a game. They produced Hall of Famer Marian Hossa and, I guess, they had two other Hall of Famers with Chris Chelios and Mark Recchi... but no one in their right mind envisions Chelios and Recchi in Thrashers jerseys when they close their eyes. If nothing else the Thrashers proved that Atlanta could actually mess things up worse than they did the first time around with the Flames.

Source: Elliotte Friedman